Are we human, or are we dancer?
This is not a story about humanity, a lesson about morality and integrity… Nor about how the title is not grammatically correct. This is a simple reflection on who we are today, human or dancer?
America is raising a generation of dancers, afraid to take one step out of line. Quote attributed to Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist
In order to reflect I need to take us all to the blissful year of 2015 when the world seemed a bit simpler, way better and had dash more of magic. Or that was us? Anywho!
Back in 2015, I worked in an international organization, surrounded by colleagues from all over the world — one of them was my lovely friend Sveta. Sveta was a simple girl, working hard in a foreign country, dedicating her free time to get trained as a masseuse, learn Arabic and practice yoga. One day there was this plane disappearance, later claimed as a crash carrying a large number of deaths. I remember I saw it in the news, thought how horrible it was and went on with my life. When I arrived at the office I met Sveta for coffee and at some point, she said: “This morning, after yoga I said a prayer for all the victims of the crash and their families!” I asked if she knew anyone from there thinking maybe some of our colleagues was affected, she said no leaving me in complete awe.
I recalled my morning that day and where my thoughts were and remembered that I was very upset because the dress I wanted to wear was creased and I didn't have time to iron it, also the line in the coffee shop was too long and I didn't get my coffee, someone smelled bad in metro… With the tragedy that happened, I did not step out of my square and I just continued dancing my steps because what happened in Alpes with hundreds of strangers did not affect my daily routine…
But it should!
Nowadays, I very often remember Sveta and think how this world would look like if we stop once in a while and say a little prayer and give hand to those in need. And no matter what you believe in — having those less fortunate on our minds a bit more often would probably make us more sensitive and prone to help, and less self-centred. I wish that all of us have more concern about the collective, be more human and in our daily actions think about others or at least remind ourselves how privileged we are. This pandemic really showed us how connected we are, and that the flap of wings of a butterfly can create a hurricane in another part of the world.
We all like to believe that we are defensors of great values — but are we really? Probably only until a certain point.
Everyone was very fast to either condemn or justify the war in the Midleeast, but very few of us are making any steps towards making peace even with our neighbours. We wholeheartedly advocate for the environment wanting to save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save the snails… But in our own homes easily forget to recycle because we are lazy or get carried away by consumerism and by a bunch of things we don't need.
Everyone sympathises with immigrants and root for them and their basic rights as long as they are not near and someone else has to guarantee those rights. As an immigrant, I am very sensitive to seeing any injustice done to those who came to the western world searching for a better life. I am no different to them except that I was lucky enough to get a better education or to come from closer lands. Next time, you see any immigrant treated below than what a human being deserves think of your foreign friend or colleague and see if you would tolerate it if it was her.
We are all upset about reckless behaviour related to the covid pandemic but are able to completely disregard the reality for the benefit of our sports club. Aren´t we all a bit disgust when seeing people using their power and money to cut the vaccination line or any other lines for that matter — especially the ones of good sense. But having the same opportunity what would we do?
I believe that a lot of not-so-human things that happen are not driven by dislike or hate towards anyone — rather are the result of indifference and neglect. Most of the time bad things happen not because we want bad things for others but because we want everything for ourselves. It is all just a well-coordinated group choreography and we don't want to be even one step out of line.
And I can only hope to learn to be more like my friend Sveta and care more about others even if just in my prayers.
Background music for the reader: The Killers — Human